People enjoy reading, but they admit forgetting most of it. It is human tendency to not able to retain the information they have read. There are some simple yet practical methods through which you can retain what you have read — whether that’s a novel, news articles, or scientific textbooks. Here are tricks for remembering everything you read:
1. Get familiar with the topic first
Before you dive into your reading material, try gaining some background knowledge into that particular topic.
The more you understand about a particular topic, the better the chances to keep you hooked. This is presumably because you are able you make associations between the information you already knew and the reading material. You can even start by reading a Wikipedia article on the subject as preparation.
2. Question yourself about the material
As you go along, interact with your text by asking yourself questions.
The questions can be simple such as, “What is the central idea of this section?”. If you’re reading fiction, you can ask, “What are the intentions of the character?” and “If you could rewrite this work, what would your version be like?”
3. Read hard copies
Research suggests that reading a digital version can undermine the strength of your memories, though, e-readers are convenient tools but it is recommended to read a hard copy to retain what you read.
One study found that, when people read the same short story in a paperback or on a Kindle, the paperback readers were better able to remember the story’s chronology. The pages in your hands create a tactile sense of progress which otherwise you don’t get from a Kindle.
4. Skim the text first
One of the key strategies for retaining information is skimming through the text.
The idea here isn’t to skip the whole reading process. Instead, you will want to skim the text for key ideas and keywords beforehand so you know what to expect when you actually dive into your reading material. Being familiar with the generic themes will help you remember the particulars.
5. Read out loud
This trick might work best when there are a few key items you need to remember. That’s because the sentences you speak out loud take on a distinctiveness. You remember producing and hearing the items and so your memory for them is different from the memory of the words you read silently.
6. Take notes
Always have a pencil by your side when you are reading. Underline sentences you find important, intriguing or confusing.
Draw diagrams to see the structure of key ideas. Draw lines along the side of important paragraphs.
7. Impress, associate, repeat.
Memory is a three-stage process.
First: Impression. You can picture the situation in your mind, To increase the retention of the impression. Try imagining yourself participating in the events described in the material.
Second: Association. Linking the material to something you already know. For example, maybe one of the character’s names sounds like your friend’s name.
Third: Repetition. The more you read, the stronger the memory. Try highlighting some parts of the text that you can go back to if you don’t want to reread a whole book.
8. Introduce the information to others.
If you want to remember what you experience, it’s important to do something with that information.
Talk about what you read as a useful means of processing new material. Try blogging or explain to others what you think you’ve learned.
Alternatively, you can go back and reread, if you don’t want to explain.